WFAN is a community of women in sustainable agriculture.

Our mission is to engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power. Read More.

Our Board

Apply to join our Board of Directors or National Advisory Council. 

Anna Bruen, Chair

I’m continually inspired by the commitment, conviction, and good work being facilitated by WFAN and am grateful to work alongside farmers, foodies, and women who bring their own unique perspectives to the table.

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We all have a role to play in creating an ecologically and socially just food system, and working with WFAN reminds me that by working collaboratively we can facilitate such lasting change.

I grew up in Fairfield, Iowa surrounded by farm land, but not familiar with it. I was familiar with healthy food and worms and butterflies thanks to my mother’s backyard gardening experiments; they showed me where those horrid things called tomatoes came from and where those delicious snow peas could be gleaned (I still love snow peas and have developed a delicious appreciation for heirloom tomatoes). Since those backyard adventures, I’ve wandered around Iowa and the world. I love to see new places and learn about unfamiliar things – whether close to home or far away.

Currently, I work as an Environmental Planner focusing on natural resource conservation and economic development for Pathfinders RC&D in Fairfield. My professional experience has revolved around working with municipalities, businesses, and non-profits in a variety of capacities, to find appropriate ways for the natural and built environment to healthily co-exist. I graduated from Iowa State University with a Masters in Community and Regional Planning and a M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture. 

Kari Carney, Secretary
Kari Head shot June 2015 Kari is WFAN’s secretary. She has been working with nonprofit, social change organizations for 2 decades. She recently co-founded a new organization ‘Women Building Power’ whose mission is to engage and unite women to build power to achieve economic, social and political equity for women.

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Prior to founding WPB in November 2014, she worked many years at a statewide nonprofit as the membership and training director and as a community organizer working with family farmers and rural communities to address issues that impacted them. Kari consults with organizations across the country on membership, fundraising, strategy development, direct action and leadership development; and she’s part of a national training team to train young organizers. Kari and her husband Kevin live on a small farm south of Norwalk with her working border collies and a small flock of hair sheep.

Angie Carter

I serve on the WFAN board because I am inspired by the changemakers who are working hard to improve the health of their communities. WFAN’s work elevates women and the work they do. From the soil’s microbiota to pollinator habitats, wetlands, farmers markets, and political office, women are leading changes in our food system. Just as we know we need more diversity in our diets for our physical health or on our farms for ecological health, we need more diversity both among those who are farming and those making policy decisions about agriculture.

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Together, we are speaking up, showing up, and moving our farming practices from a toxic and unequal system toward a new, more inclusive, healthy, and diverse agriculture. I am humbled and honored to be a part of such a powerful community.

I grew up in rural Iowa during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. These experiences shape my activism and my scholarship today, as well as my belief in the transformative power of our collective efforts in the face of hard and uncertain times. I am also the 8th generation of my family to call Iowa home and feel tremendous responsibility to ensuring the healthy future of our state. Iowa is ground zero for the increasing problems posed by our extractive agricultural system. How we work together to heal the land and create alternative agrifood systems in Iowa can be a model for agricultural transformation well beyond our state.

I earned a PhD in Sociology and Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and today live and teach sociology in the Quad Cities. Currently, I am facilitating a participatory research project in Iowa’s Raccoon River Watershed with funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. In my research, I have collaborated with Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Raccoon River Watershed Association, and other community groups.

I know that a more ecologically, environmentally, and socially just food system is not only possible, it is a necessity if we are to survive the realities of climate change. We must change from an agricultural system that exploits land and people to one that reflects our values of community, health, and public good. The creativity and courage I see among taking risks to try new things, push our conceptualizations of the possible, and lead change in our food system at local, national, and global levels gives me great hope.

Patti Edwardson
patti in field of prairie blossoms

Growing up on an Iowa farm with her loving, hard-working family set the direction of Patti’s life. She learned to value wholesome food grown, prepared, and preserved locally, neighbors working together, and rural communities where people could strive for a common good. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education, she worked and lived in several other states. It was while living in Florida that she discovered the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network organization.

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She now lives on a farm in Iowa where she and her partner are transitioning a corn/soybean farm to organic production. They are exploring the possibilities with rotations of small grains and hay. They also have planted 200 apple trees. Patti tends a large garden with intentions to sell at a local farmers market.

Concerns about our modern agricultural system and the health of Iowa’s environment have led Patti to become active in ways that seek solutions. WFAN, an organization that brings together women with strength, passion, and vision, is a perfect place to work for change.

Ashley Hand, Vice Chair
AshleyHand Ashley hobby farms in northeast Iowa with her partner Brian on a 6th generation family farm. She also serves as the Workforce Development Coordinator for the Red Earth Gardens of the Meskwaki Nation in Tama, IA. She received her M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry from Iowa State University. She enjoys hiking, agate hunting, kayaking, reading, yoga, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Anna Johnson, Treasurer
Anna Jonson headshotAnna is a student Board member with WFAN.  She originally hails from Maryland and is enrolled as a graduate student at Iowa State University.

While not from a farming background, she has been interested and
involved in agriculture for over a decade.  She started reading and studying agricultural issues in college, ultimately majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainable agriculture at Yale.

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After that, she spent two years working full-time on small vegetable CSA farms on the East Coast.  She then settled near home in Washington, D.C. for three years where she worked in USDA’s budget office, after which she decided to pursue dual passions for agriculture and sociology at Iowa State.  She lives in Ames, Iowa.

Ahna Kruzic
Ahna I grew up in Albia, Iowa. After completing my undergraduate degree at Iowa State University in sociology and gender studies, I went on to travel and work abroad, and later as a community organizer in Iowa.

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Now that I’m back at Iowa State, I’m working towards my MS is Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology while working with communities to understand enabling environments for the development of sustainable, just local food systems and communities. Further, I’m working to identify limitations of local foods movements and how we might create more inclusive narratives. I’m excited to serve as a student member of the WFAN board. I believe that by learning from one another, organized women can be a real force for positive change on landscapes and in communities.

Jennifer Vazquez
Jennifer V photoJennifer grew up in a military family and moved every few years as a kid. In 2002, she moved to northern Wisconsin to stay put for awhile, attend Northland College and, as luck would have it, realize her love of farming with her first farm internship on the shores of Gitchigummi (Lake Superior) in 2003.

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Many of her work experiences have revolved around agriculture and community
development. She’s worked on farms large and small, for non-profits, for different tribal organizations, research groups and for many small business owners. She moved to Iowa almost 5 years ago to attend graduate school at ISU where her graduate research focused on food sovereignty within the Oneida Nation Reservation Community.

After receiving a Masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture in the summer of 2011, she was hired by the Sac & Fox Tribe, aka the Meskwaki Nation, as their Local Foods Planner, and tasked with creating a new program within the Economic Development
Department. That program became known as the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI).

Her absolute favorite part of our food and farm system is farm work and farm-based education. As part of MFSI, in 2013, their team launched Red Earth Gardens, a 40-acre soon-to-be certified organic produce farm. Building off a successful second season in 2014, the farm is planning for a permaculture orchard in 2016, and in the meantime are exploring options for value-added products like dried soup mixes and heirloom dry beans using farm produce. Above all, the farm works to make affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables available to the Meskwaki community and region.

In her free time, she and her partner raise heritage hogs on pasture and market their products through their farm, Turkey Foot Farm.  They look forward toexpanding this business in the future.  She also likes to visit with family and friends, listen to music, dance and go for motorcycle rides.

PO Box 611
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 460-2477